Jesuit Historiography in Bohemia
(10,422 words)

Ivo Cerman

Last modified: June 2017


The history of Bohemian Jesuits starts in 1555 when Peter Canisius (1521–97) was sent to Prague to examine the situation and judge whether it would be possible to establish here a Jesuit college. In 1556, the first group of Jesuits settled in the Klementinum in the Old Town of Prague. Thanks to the support of the bishop of Olomouc the Jesuits soon expanded in Moravia and the support of the Catholic nobility made it possible to establish further colleges and gymnasia in smaller Bohemian towns. However, it was not until 1623 that an independent province of Bohemia was founded.


The main field of Jesuit activities lay in education. The Society of Jesus procured an up-to-date model of humanist learning which significantly helped restore arts and sciences in a country ravaged by long years of Hussite wars and ensuing anarchy. In this humanist model of education, history as an independent subject was missing. Historical texts were studied in classes of rhetoric as a means of acquiring proficiency in Latin.

The marginal role of history was not the fault of Jesuits but a feature of humanist learning, in which history was understood as a subdiscipline of rhetoric. In contrast with the modern understanding of history as a scientific discipline the aim of which is a true reconstruction of past facts, the rhetorical history was supposed to provide aesthetic pleasure and exemplify moral wisdom about human virtues and vices.1 It deserves to be noted that some Jesuit humanists, such as the French René Rapin (1621–87), belonged to passionate defenders of this classical concept during the ongoing querelle des anciens et des modernes. According to the Ratio studiorum students would read extracts from ancient Roman historians, namely Caesar, Sallustius, Livius, Curtius, and other similar authors.2 However, these historians were read to study their language and not to gain a comprehensive knowledge of ancient history. Since the students were reading classical Latin they would not read modern texts and therefore would not acquire any knowledge of contemporary history. They would only learn pieces of the past but they would not be able to reconstruct the genesis of present institutions or understand long term historical developments.

The rhetorical character of historiography was noticeable even in those humanist historians who sought to narrate histories “at long range.” Instead of reconstructing the fragmentary truth, they would invent events to make their chronology more complete, they would insert direct speeches in the mouth of their characters to make their narrative more lively and educative and they would illustrate human vices by timeless portraits of human characters without examining the changing historical background.3 This model was followed also by the most popular historical work which originated in sixteenth-century Bohemia. It was the Bohemian Chronicle written by a converted Utraquist priest Václav Hájek of Libočany (d.1553) and published in 1541.4 His historical narrative features invented legends about the beginnings of Bohemian history modeled after classical myths, non-existent events, made-up Jewish crimes, and cases of witchcraft, as well as impressive details about medieval battles and memorable deeds of Czech heroes. The most important of his fables is the legend that first Czechs came to Bohemia from Croatia under the leadership of the Czech, the progenitor of the Czech nation. Hájek even pretended to know the exact date when this happened. His chronicle was translated into German and thereafter it became the most popular work of history, which remained influential throughout the early modern period, until the Enlightenment. It is important for understanding Bohemian historiography, for it shaped the Czech image of the past. In official documents, events made up by Hájek would be cited as facts, and his fables about the beginnings of Bohemian history would be considered as ancient folk tales handed down from our ancestors. Even the famous Czech folk tales written by Alois Jirásek (1851–1930) at the close of the nineteenth century were written after the model of Hájek´s fables.

The Jesuits in Prague recorded their own history in regular reports, just as the Jesuit Constitutions prescribed. The first reports describing their arrival to Prague were included in the litterae quadrimestres (quadrimestral letters), which already in 1566 became just annual  (litterae annuae).5 The earliest history of Prague Jesuits is described in diaria (diaries), which are preserved in the Strahov Library in Prague,6 but continuous litterae annuae start in 1608.7 The handwritten Diarium collegii S.J. Pragensis Clementini covers the years 1560 to 1583.8

The sufferings of the Thirty Years’ War gave birth to the first larger historical work written by a Bohemian Jesuit. It is a manuscript called Sumovní krátké sepsání o hrozné válce… (A short summary history of the horrible war) by the Jesuit poet Václav František Kocmánek (1607–79).9 Sometimes it is also referred to as Kocmánek’s memoirs. It starts with an exposition on the origins of the war but later on it proceeds to Kocmánek’s personal narrative about his experiences during the Swedish invasions. It includes a vivid description of the raid on the Jesuit college in Jičín, eastern Bohemia. War events are also depicted in the sequel to the Diarium of the Klementinum in Prague between the years 1647 and 1671.10 This source in particular describes the Swedish attack on Prague in 1648 and the defense of the Charles bridge by Jesuit students who prevented the enemy from conquering the Old Town of Prague.11

Baroque Age

After the war, the Jesuits won an important victory in educational policies. In 1654, the Charles University in Prague was definitively united with the Jesuit academy of Klementinum. The Jesuits won even the struggle with the Prague archbishop who was nominally the chancellor of the university and opposed their influence upon this ancient institution. The university in Olomouc was run by the Jesuits since its inception in 1573. Even though the founder, the bishop Vilém Prusíkovský z Vacínova (1534–72), intended it to be a fully-fledged university with four faculties, it remained a Jesuit semi-university, which was reduced to a faculty of arts and a faculty of theology. The faculty of law, established in 1679, remained just a marginal institution. In 1702, another Jesuit university was founded in Breslau (Wrocław, Silesia). It was named Leopoldinum after the reigning emperor. Additionally, a dense network of Jesuit colleges and gymnasia covered most of the small towns all over the country.

In spite of this impressive institutional infrastructure, Jesuit professors at the universities did not play any significant part in historiography. The reason for the continuing underrating of historiography among university professors was the fact that the model of higher education still did not acknowledge history as an independent discipline. An exceptional case was the political work written in 1666 by Carolus de Grobendoncque (1600–72) entitled De ortu et progressu spiritus politici. It was a treatise in political philosophy but the author substantiated his theory by a long historical exposition to which he later annexed manuscript sequels (entitled decadae II to VII).12 His work is a polemic with the spirit of sedition and immoral politics that follows Machiavelli and strives for power. This destructive power is opposed by societas anti-politica, represented mainly by the Jesuits. He sees the origins of the destructive spiritus politicus in the rebellion of angels against God, and the task of his historical treatise is to illustrate the perseverance of this disintegrative force from the beginnings of mankind through biblical history of Israel until the prophet Elias. The manuscript sequels carry on the historical account until the Middle Ages. Grobendoncque was not, however, a historian by profession. Rather, he was teaching scripture within the faculty of theology. While history was still missing among university chairs, there were a few exceptions among university professors who produced works on history, even though it was not their expertise. One of them was Jan Tanner (1623–94) who was briefly teaching ethics and moral theology within the faculty of arts. However, his historical works originated after he left his university position, so they were not produced in connection with his teaching activities. They will be discussed in relation with local historians to which they belong by their topic. A similar case was Joannes Kořínek (1626–80), who briefly taught ethics in Olomouc and Prague. His popular narrative about the history of Kutná Hora will also be discussed in the section on local authors as it had no relation to his university courses. Some sort of historical classes began to be taught only at the faculty of arts in Prague in 1729, the aim of which was to exemplify the teachings of moral theologians.

As a matter of fact, the Jesuit province of Bohemia did produce important historians but they operated outside universities. The most important baroque historian, Bohuslav Balbín (1621–88), was a Jesuit. He worked at colleges but not as a teacher. As soon as 1661, he was registered in the college of Jičín as a “historicus.”13 The reason why he was not allowed to teach and why he was frequently moved from one college to another has been a matter of controversy among historians but most probably he was simply one of those who were better in writing scholarly works than in teaching. For this reason, he was not only allowed to devote his time to research and writing, but he even received commissions for historical works, namely from ecclesiastical dignitaries and from aristocratic families. His career as a historian started when the abbot of the cistercian monastery in Waldenburg (Wałbrzych, Silesia), asked him to write a history of the sanctuary of Virgin Mary in that city. The book Diva Vartensis of 165514 was soon followed by a similar history of the sanctuary of Virgin Mary on the Holy Mountain near Příbram.15 The history of holy sites compelled him to examine the history of the Blessed Hroznata (d.1217) and prove that he was the ancestor of counts of Guttenstein and Czernin, and not of the counts of Vrbna. This work of 1665 marks the beginning of his interest in Bohemian nobility.16 It seems that these two directions of his research were not separated from each other. Balbín always followed one purpose and that was to defend the Catholic religion in Bohemia. While his works on sanctuaries of Virgin Mary demonstrated that the roots of Catholic religion run deep within the Bohemian soil, the purpose of his genealogies of the nobility was to prove that the nobles descend from Saint Ludmila (d.921), the progenitor of the Přemyslid dynasty and the legendary propagator of Christianity. Her model was supposed to bring together even the contemporary nobility. A similar method was then applied in Balbín´s attempt at a comprehensive history of Bohemia, the celebrated Epitome rerum Bohemicarum of 1677.17 This momentous  work seeks to tie the events of Bohemian history to the worshipped image of the Virgin Mary in Stará Boleslav. The Czech nationalistic historiography sought to interpret Balbín’s work  as a defense of Czech nationhood, however, the common thread that ran through his various historical works was not the defense of nationhood, but rather the defense of Catholic religion in Bohemia.

Balbín’s efforts reached their culmination in the extraordinary synthesis called Miscellanea historica regni Bohemiae,18 which was supposed to discuss in twenty volumes all the aspects of nature and culture; from the landscape, flora, and natural riches, to the history of the people, kings, ecclesiastical and political institutions, and even the genealogies of aristocratic families. The project, however, remained unfinished. It should have consisted of two “decades” of books—each decade comprising ten volumes—but Balbín managed to publish only eight volumes of the first decade during his lifetime. The title of volume four—Bohemia sancta—expresses symbolically the main goal of Balbín’s historiography: the portrait of Bohemia as a country where Catholic religion is at home and where it should stay forever. Czech history is discussed only in the second volume; the fourth, fifth, and sixths volume discuss  church history; and the seventh volume provides a list of Bohemian sovereigns. What stands out is the third volume. It should have treated topography of Bohemia but Balbín also added records of local folk tales and legends about dwarfs, specters, and supernatural characters. The age of Enlightenment was discussed in the last two volumes of the first decade in particular. Volume nine—Bohemia docta—dealt with intellectual history of Bohemia, and volume ten—iber curialis—provided a survey of state institutions, courts of justice, diets, etc.

What is important for Balbín’s understanding of history as a scientific discipline is the volume on Bohemia docta because it also discusses historians. Specifically, the volume is written as a biographical dictionary of scholars who are divided into disciplines of their interest, and historians are placed into the same category of poets.19 The composition shows that Balbín still saw history as a part of rhetoric. However, he also censures one author for confounding poetry and history, illustrating that he did not neglect the informative value of historiography. Nevertheless, his only objection to Hájek’s fabulous chronicle in the entry “Hagecius” is that he made mistakes in chronology.20

Balbín was also commissioned to write on the history of the Bohemian province of the Jesuit order. This suggests that he may have already been  given the status of a historicus provinciae, but this prospect has not been verified. The emergence of this office in 1710 proves that history was undergoing a  process of institutionalization. However, it did not necessarily mean that history had begun to be respected as an important and independent discipline. The job of history writing was often given to members of the order who lacked the talents for any other assignments. The Historia provinciae Bohemiae was said to be based on a fragment written by the English Jesuit George Ware (Varus) in the sixteenth century.21 Balbín himself wrote a history of the Klementinum in Prague between the years 1555 and 1610,22 which also remained a manuscript. The last work written by Balbín on Jesuit history is a report on the progress of the combat against heresy between 1661 and 1678.23

There were more Jesuits in the baroque age who were writing histories of their colleges or towns. The history of the college of Jičín and its founder—the Duke Albrecht of Wallenstein—was written by Václav Červenka z Věžňova (1636–94)24 who also published a history of the Saint Bartholomew Convict in Prague.25 Jan Tanner, a regent of the convict, wrote a famous work on the Holy Road from Prague to Stará Boleslav, as well as  a history of the life of Saint Wenceslas who was related to this holy site. He also wrote a biography of Albrecht Chanovský (1581–1643) that presented historical accounts of the Counts of Sternberg and Waldstein and depicted Chanovský as a model Jesuit missionary. Most of these works were translated into Czech and German. Furthermore, Tanner wrote several histories of his native town, Plzeň, but all remained unpublished.26 The most important of the remaining Jesuit historians is Jan Kořínek (1626–80). He published a rather unusual Ancient History of Kutná Hora (Staré Paměti Kutnohorské, 1675)27 which combined colorful baroque poetry with historical prose and a vocabulary of the miners´ slang. Kutná Hora was a famous silver mining town and Kořínek sought to capture its vanishing glory. Since this book was written in Czech, it was later appreciated for its literary value and is today considered the most important literary monument of Czech baroque. While other local authors did not see their works published, the baroque age is particularly rich in the number of college diaries. Apart from the Klementinum of Prague, whose handwritten diarium was continued until 1737, there also appeared handwritten diaria of the colleges in Klatovy, Jičín, Český Krumlov, Kladsko, Kutná Hora, Cheb and Jindřichův Hradec in Bohemia, and Brno in Moravia. A special case was the Jesuit Georgius Crugerius (1608–71) who wrote a historical calendar, Sacri pulveres (1667–70, posthumously continued to 1672),28 which tells life stories of important saints, affiliates each of them with a month of the year, and associates them with events of Bohemian history in a similar manner as Balbín did.

Finally, there appeared histories of the Bohemian province, which were written by the holders of the aforementioned office of historicus provinciae.29 The first one seems to be Joannes Miller (1662–1738), who began his assignment around 1715 and continued until his death. His manuscript, Historia Societatis provinciae Bohemiae ab anno 1555 usque ad annum 1723, has never been published in print.30 It was the first accomplished comprehensive history of the Bohemian province, and it is still today a useful source of factual information. Allegedly it was based on documents collected by Balbín. It was supposed to be published at the centenary of the founding of the Bohemian province, but Miller died too early and his work was found to be faulty. For this reason his successor, Joannes Dreyhausen (1697–1775), dedicated his own research to correcting Miller. He produced only a short extract from Miller´s Historia, which he  only treated up to the year 1724,31 and has never been published. Joannes Schmidl (1693–1762) became historicus provinciae in 1743, and the result of his efforts was a multi-volume survey of the history that started again from 1555. His monumental Historia Societatis Jesu Provinciae Bohemiae was published between 1747 and 1759.32 Unfortunately, his death prevented him from finishing the project which only reached the year 1653.


The age of Enlightenment in Bohemia started with the War of Austrian Succession, which resulted in the loss of Silesia that thereafter became a part of Prussia. This change had serious consequences for the Jesuits. In 1755, Silesia was separated from the province of Bohemia. In the aftermath of the military defeat, the Habsburg Monarchy launched far-reaching reforms, in which Jesuits played an important role. Initially, the Jesuits were supposed to be important agents of educational reforms. After all, the Theresianum in Vienna was originally established as a Jesuit academy. However, in time the educational policies began to turn against the Jesuits and the humanist model of learning which they represented. This was due to the efforts of the state to make the institutions of higher education more useful for the administration, and to direct them towards practical sciences. As a result, it was forbidden to teach on the basis of “dusted Peripatetic ideas,” the course of philosophy was shortened, the universities were placed under the supervision of state-appointed directors of studies, and non-Jesuit teachers were introduced into faculties of philosophy.33 The new generation of nobility overwhelmingly opposed the Jesuits and supported the plan to abolish the order. In 1773, the Jesuit order was indeed abolished, and most of its members were expelled from universities in the Habsburg hereditary lands. In the Charles-Ferdinand University in Prague, only four Jesuits were allowed to remain. These were three lecturers in mathematics (Stanislav Vydra [1741–1804], Josef Tesánek [1728–88], and Josef Stepling [1716–78]) and one specialist on pastoral theology (Jiljí Chládek [1743–1806]). The university in Olomouc was completely purged of Jesuits. The abolition of Jesuit colleges meant that even some gymnasia disappeared. This had disastrous effects for some small towns due to the loss of the only institution of higher education available to local youth.

The university reforms led to the establishment of historiography as an independent discipline. In 1748, it was ordered that a course in ethics must also include stories of Roman emperors. Furthermore, in 1752 the position as chair of universal history was established. The new subject was to be taught on the basis of Historiarum a conditio mundi libri X by the Jesuit author Horatio Tursellino (1545–99). The new chair was given to the Jesuit Joannes Haiden (1716–1803), who was teaching ecclesiastical and profane history until 1769 when he was relocated to the Hradec Králové seminary.34 He also held the chair of ecclesiastical history at the theological faculty between 1761 and 1769. Another chair of history was created at the faculty of law in Prague in 1754, and the Jesuits Joannes Giranek (1724–80) and Ignaz Tentscher (1720–98) were entrusted with a course in universal history.

In spite of this progress, the most important Jesuit historian of this era, Franz Pubitschka (1722–1807), was an autodidact who was not affiliated to the university. He was a native of Chomutov, northern Bohemia, thus he came from a German speaking background.35 Before he began to write historical works, he had taught Greek and Latin in poetics. In 1766, he was appointed historicus provinciae, which may suggest that he was expected to write a history of the Jesuit province, but his contributions to this topic remained limited to regular entries in the litterae annuae of the Klementinum. Pubitschka devoted his scholarly efforts to Bohemian patriotic history. It should be noted that he did not have a particular affinity for archival research, for he enjoyed writing much more. His interpretations drew from medieval chronicles, and classical authors whom he knew from his lessons of Latin. His main model was Balbín, whose works he used as a source of facts. He remained faithful to the humanist tradition of rhetorical historiography, which primarily values beautiful narrative and eloquent Latin. He respected classical languages even more than his predecessors, evidenced by his historical works which were all written in Latin rather than modern languages. Moreover, even though his native language was German, he did not trust himself to use it in writing. Instead, his German publications were all originally written in Latin and later translated into German by someone else.

Furthermore, Pubitschka was entering historiography in the time when the rhetorical approach to historiography was already seriously criticized, even in Bohemia. The Piarist, Gelasius Dobner (1709–90), had already introduced Bohemia to a historiography based on a critical examination of sources. Dobner sought to translate Hájek’s Bohemian Chronicle into Latin, but he also intended to critically examine which facts narrated by Hájek were true and which were fabricated. His Historia bohemica turned into a critical edition of Hájek’s Bohemian Chronicle, and Pubitschka soon found himself in the same category as traditional historians who were opposed to Dobner’s new approach to historiography. It should also be noted that Dobner never managed to write a historical work of his own; he only edited works of other authors. Pubitschka on the other hand, would only write his own works, and never managed to do original research or edit documents. In this respect, the two authors exemplify two extreme approaches to the historical craft. Pubitschka´s first historical work, Series chronologica rerum Slavo-Bohemicarum, was published in 1768.36 It covers early Bohemian history up to the ninth century. Pubitchka addresses also the sensitive question of the origins of the Czech people. He rejected both Hájek´s thesis that the Czech Slavs came from Croatia, and Dobner’s belief that the ancestors of the Czech nation were the Caucassan Zichs. He advanced the thesis that the Czechs originated from the Sarmatian nomads. Even though he never used Dobner’s name in this work, his adversary recognized the aim of Pubitschka’s elucidations and answered him in a polemical pamphlet, Historiophilii examen criticum (1770).

By this time, Pubitschka was already working on a new comprehensive work on Bohemian history which was supposed to follow the thread of historical narrative to what was then present-day. The first volume of his Chronologische Geschichte appeared in 1770, but the work was soon jeopardized by the abolition of the order.37 In order to be able to finish his work, Pubitschka applied for permission to stay in Prague, and later asked the Bohemian estates for a financial grant towards the publication of his ambitious work. The Bohemian estates provided him with their support, and he even began to style himself as an historiographus patriae (historiographer of the homeland), or as an “estates’ historian.” The publication of the work dragged on until 1805 and reached eleven volumes, though the last volume remained unpublished. The narrative tells Bohemian history up to the beginning of the Bohemian rebellion in 1618, and the last unpublished volume discusses the Thirty Years War and Wallenstein´s death. As a business enterprise, it was a failure. The large volumes were too expensive and difficult to transport and historians soon began to point at the inadequacies of Pubitschka´s anachronistic method.

In his old days, Pubitschka got involved in another historical controversy. This time it concerned the question of Saint Johann of Nepomuk, who became the target of a critical attack of the young Josef Dobrovsky (1753–1829). Pubitschka defended the legend depicting Nepomuk as a martyr of the sanctity of the Seal of the Confessional in a German pamphlet published in 1790.38

Pubitschka also played an important role as a teacher of a younger generation of Jesuit historians. Some of his disciples became important representatives of patriotic history of the Late Enlightenment in Bohemia. Amid them were such personalities as Ignaz Cornova (1740–1822), and Leopold Scherschnik (1747–1814). Paradoxically, some professors of history who took over the university chairs in the reign of Joseph II were also ex-Jesuits. Johann Heinrich Wolf (1745–84) is one of them. He was appointed the chair of history at the University of Prague in 1783, shortly before his premature death. His publications include a posthumous biography of the Hussite King George of Poděbrady,39 and an engaging essay on the utility of universal history.40 Another notable ex-Jesuit was Joannes Diesbach (1729–92) who held the chair of church history in the faculty of theology. He edited Balbín´s work on genealogies of Bohemian nobility which was supposed to constitute the first volume of the second decade of Miscellanea historica.41

The most important of the younger historians was Ignaz Cornova.42 He was a former Jesuit, but he also joined the freemasons in Prague. After the abolition of the Jesuit order, he taught history at the gymnasium of the Old Town of Prague, and succeeding Johann Heinrich Wolf, was appointed professor of universal history in the faculty of arts in Prague in 1784. In 1795, he was dismissed due to his political opinions. He was a much different type of scholar from the previous Jesuits. In accordance with Josephine theology, he focused on the pragmatic history of Bohemia because he tried to be useful to his state and his country. As a priest, he engaged himself in the Masonic orphanage in Prague, for which he wrote a Catechism and a book of Masonic prayers. He entered the scholarly coalition, Zur Wahrheit und Einigkeit, for which he co-authored a Masonic code. As a patriotic historian, he endeavored to supply his mother-country with a modern pragmatic history, which aimed to provide useful information for citizens. Finally, he decided that the best method to achieve this goal would be to translate the classical humanist treatise, Respublica Bohemorum of 1634, written by the exile humanist, Pavel Stránský. This work was already considered a comprehensive account of Bohemian laws, institutions, politics and history. Nevertheless, Cornova did not satisfy himself with the role of a translator. He decided to continue Stránský’s work, and furthermore added his own account to each which he discussed what followed after 1634. Eventually, his multivolume edition, Stranskys Staat von Böhmen (1792–1801), achieved what he intended: It provided a complicated account of history, laws and institutions of Bohemia, and was tailored to help his fellow citizens to understand the origins of the political institutions of the time in which they lived.43

While Cornova felt much sympathy for the French Revolution, he nevertheless remained an Austrian patriot when the war against France broke out. During the Napoleonic Wars between 1805 and 1815, Cornova supported the war efforts of his country through historical biographies of eminent heroes who distinguished themselves by their valor and their readiness to defend their country, and by patriotic poems for kids. His particular interest in the history of learning led him to defend the merits of his own former order, and to write a remarkable Geschichte der Jesuiten als Gymnasiallehrer (1804).44 It is not a biographical dictionary, as was usual at that time, but a series of sixteen letters to a Bohemian noblewoman in which he seeks to provide a true account of Jesuit teaching methods and educational goals.

Let us finally say a few words about the image of Jesuits in the historical works of secular representatives of the Enlightenment. Surprisingly, Jesuits were not portrayed as negatively as was typical in France, Italy or Spain. It is true that Franz Joseph Kinsky (1739–1805), the founder of the Bohemian Association of Sciences, had only words of harsh criticism for the Jesuits and their achievements. He even believed that the introduction of a Jesuit educational system in Bohemia was a part of a fiendish plan of Emperor Ferdinand II to keep the Bohemian nobility in ignorance.45 The most important enterprise of Bohemian Enlightenment was a multivolume encyclopedia of Bohemian scholars which had a Latin version—Effigies virorum eruditorum—as well as a German version—Abbildungen böhmischer und mährischer Gelehrten.46 Within this work, a much more positive image of Jesuit scholars is portrayed than what was common at that time. Franz Martin Pelzel (1734–1801) was one of the editors of this enterprise, and even wrote a separate encyclopedia of Jesuit scholars in which he defended their merits for education.47 Lastly, let us remember that even Josef Dobrovský, the most radical of Bohemian critical scholars, was a former Jesuit. He entered the order in 1772, shortly before the abolition. In his later days, he would still consider himself a Jesuit.48

Enemies of the Czech Nation

The Jesuit order was restored in 1814, however the province of Bohemia was not renewed.49 Within the Habsburg monarchy the order was reestablished in Galicia (south-east of present-day Poland), and the first new colleges in Bohemian lands were established in Těšín, Silesia and other bordering areas. In terms of their administration, they belonged to the province of Galicia. Further establishments in Bohemia appeared years later as parts of the Austrian province. Furthermore, the Jesuits didn’t return to Prague until 1866. Bohemia remained a part of the Austrian province until 1928 when Czechoslovakia was separated as an independent province. Bohemia was independent again only after 1939 when Czechoslovakia fell apart.

Under these new circumstances, the rise of Czech and German nationalisms greatly changed the exterior context in which the Catholic Church operated. The Jesuits were given a negative role in the new national historical narratives—both Czech and German. The Czech national movement saw the Jesuits as enemies of the Czech nation, and accused them of a planned destruction of Czech national culture. This interpretation was based on the idea that Hussite conception of Christianity (i.e. Utraquism) was a kind of Czech national religion, and the Jesuit efforts to promote Catholic Christianity was therefore understood as an intentional resistance against Czech cultural traditions. The iconic figure that symbolized this new negative portrayal of the Jesuit order was Pater Antonín Koniáš (1691–1760), an extremely diligent missionary that excelled in the art of finding forbidden heretical books. Heretical books were confiscated from their Czech owners and burned, and Koniáš was told to have been a champion in burning Czech books. According to the highest estimate, he burnt sixty thousand books. It should not come as a surprise that the Jesuits were blamed for creating a cultural hiatus that separated the modern Czech nation from its original Czech culture as it existed before 1620. Consequently, the news that the Jesuits would return to Prague in 1847 provoked the Czech revolutionary, Emanuel Arnold (1800–69), to write a famous anti-Jesuit pamphlet which was designed as a speech of the Jesuit general containing the secret plans of the order to be disclosed to the public.50 During the revolution of 1848, the Czech liberal journalist, Karel Havlíček Borovský (1821–56), compared the Jesuits to bookworms. Likewise, the two most dangerous destructors of Czech books and the revolutionary newspapers—Národní noviny and Pražský večerní list—would occasionally attack Jesuits in their articles. In the constitutional era after 1860, anti-clericalism became the main principle of Austrian liberals51 who were emulated in this sense by the Young-Czech party in Bohemia.52 The Young-Czechs´ journal, Národní listy, conducted a long and intensive campaign against the Catholic Church and the Jesuit order. Jan Neruda, a famous journalist for Národní listy, also started a strong anti-Jesuit campaign after they opened their first establishment in Prague in 1866.53

The return of Jesuits to Prague motivated others in the opposite sense, such as the gymnasium professor Tomáš V. Bílek (1819–1903) who dedicated his scholarship to the history of Jesuits. In 1873, on the anniversary of the abolition of the Jesuit order, Bílek published the first version of his influential History of the Society of Jesusin Bohemia,54 a broader synthesis of which followed in 1897.55 Apart from this, Bílek also issued minor works on the economy of Jesuit colleges, and he included them also in his general works on the confiscations. Throughout his works, the Jesuits were portrayed as supporters of Habsburg absolutism and enemies of Czech culture.

A similar image has been integrated into comprehensive works on Czech history. Since Palacký´s paradigmatic History of the Czech Nationin Bohemia and Moravia ends before the accession of the Habsburgs on the Bohemian throne, it was up to his successors to struggle to interpret Jesuit activities in Bohemia. Surprisingly, the greatest influence was provided by the works of the  French historian, Ernest Denis (1849–1921); namely, both The End of Czech Independence and Bohemia after the White Mountain,  were accepted by the Czech reading public as the authoritative interpretation of Czech history under Habsburg rule.56 Both of them were translated into Czech and amended by Jindřich Vančura (1855–1936). Regrettably, Denis adopted a view close to Bílek and the anticlerical propaganda. The Jesuits were shown as supporters of Habsburg absolutism and destructors of Czech culture.

The new national image of the recent past was made popular by the novelist Alois Jirásek (1851–1930), who wrote mainly on the Hussite period. His historical novel, Temno (Darkness), narrated a story concerning the canonization of Saint John of Nepomuk in 1729, and coined a new name for this epoch.57 The Jesuits were given the role of the main villains in the “Age of Darkness,” which became a label for the whole period of Czech history from the battle on the White Mountain to  the beginning of the National Awakening. The term implied that it was an era of a general decline in culture, sciences and national self-awareness, for which the Jesuits were largely responsible.

Besides these anti-clerical authors, there were still some Catholic Church historians who looked at the Age of Darkness from a different perspective. Their interest in Jesuit history was too renewed due to the return of the Jesuits to Prague in 1866. In response to the attacks of the liberal and evangelical press, the priest, Karel Alois Vinařický (1803–69), and the professor of the Theological Seminary in České Budějovice, Antonín Skočdopole (1828–1919), wrote two short books with a historical account of the merits of Jesuits for the Czech culture.58 The most important of them was Antonín Podlaha (1865–1932), whose vast oeuvre included a short article which laid foundations for a history of Jesuit historiography in Bohemia.59

The Jesuit order also produced two historians. The first of them was Josef Svoboda (1826–96), who established a circle of church historians in 1890, and began to publish a journal on church history entitled Sborník vlasteneckého kroužku Vlast. Svoboda wrote a short book on the Jesuits following the older polemic of 1866.60 Later on, he ventured to counter Bílek’s biased interpretation with his own interpretation of the Bohemian history after the battle of the White Mountain,61 and even a polemical reply to Bílek.62 The Czech Jesuit Antonín Rejzek (1844–1920) was one of the members of Svoboda´s historical circle. He produced multiple popularizing biographies of significant Jesuits, but the most important of his historical studies is his monumental biography of Bohuslav Balbín.63 However, later generations of historians have taken it for an unreliable work. It was an Austrian Jesuit, Alois Kroess (1856–1928), who fulfilled the task of writing a modern account, History of the Bohemian Province.64 The introductory essay to his book provides a fresh discussion of the development of Jesuit historiography. Kroess’s work remained unfinished during his lifetime; it was only in 1938 that the second part of his work was published, and only recently have scholars in Olomouc managed to publish the final third part of the work.65

Finally, the historical image of the Jesuits was improved in the 1930s when a group of Catholic intellectuals started a concentrated effort to rehabilitate Czech baroque literature. They were indebted in no small measure to the historian Josef Pekař (1870–1937), who opposed Masaryk´s overrating of the Hussite traditions by his positive assessment of what he called “Roman baroque cosmopolitanism,” and its victory after 1620.66 The Catholic literary historians sought to prove that even though baroque taste might seem odd, the literature of that time has its peculiar aesthetic value. In other words, these Catholic intellectuals did not seek an alternative to the nationalistic interpretation of Czech history, but sought to rehabilitate baroque literature on the basis of Czech nationalism. This group of Catholic intellectuals included mainly writers such as Jaroslav Durych (1886–1962), Jakub Deml (1878–1961), and literary historians such as Josef Vašica (1884–1968), Václav Černý (1905–87) and Arne Novák (1880–1939)—but most notably Zdeněk Kalista (1900–82) with his anthology, Bohemian Baroque.67 This trend reached its peak in 1938 when Catholic intellectuals managed to organize the exhibition, Czech baroque in Prague, which brought new interpretations to the public’s attention. However, the prominent role of Catholic intellectuals during the so-called “Second Republic” between 1938 and 1939, as well as their open rejection of democracy, discredited all their scholarly achievements.

Enemies of German Liberalism

The attitude of German language historians from Bohemia toward Jesuits was also negative. Yet, the starting point of their assessment was slightly different from the Czechs; specifically, they combined German nationalism with a zeal for liberalism, and supported the efforts of Austrian liberals to change the Habsburg monarchy into a constitutional state.

Since nineteenth-century historians dealt mainly with problems of medieval history, or with the history of the Habsburg dynasty, it was not until the 1930s that early modern intellectual history became the focus of deutschböhmisch historians. The most important representatives of eighteenth-century research among them were Eugen Lemberg (1903–76), Josef Pfitzner (1901–45) and Eduard Winter (1896–1982).

The work by Eduard Winter had the greatest impact on our image of the early modern age and the Jesuits.68 He was a disappointed Catholic priest, who supported the German national movement and later joined the NSDAP. Winter taught church history at the German University in Prague. In 1941, he discovered that he could not reconcile his Catholicism and his national-socialist Weltanschauung, and therefore left the Catholic Church. His position as chair of ecclesiastical history was transformed into the chair of European intellectual history.69 Winter began to support the idea of a German national Catholic Church that would be independent of Rome. He projected this idea into his most important historical work, Der Josephinismus of 1943.70 It surveys the intellectual history of Bohemia from Baroque to 1848, but its emphasis is on Josephinist reforms, which he understood as a very promising attempt to establish such an independent German Volkskirche. However, Winter’s narrative is told in a tragic tone because although this reform movement had the support of the ruler at the time, it was ultimately defeated. The formidable enemies who even defied Joseph II were cosmopolitan ecclesiastical forces led by the Roman curia and the Jesuits. Following the völkisch ideology, the curia and the Jesuit order are portrayed as unhealthy cosmopolitan forces which weaken and disintegrate the vital powers of the people (Lebenskraft) in a similar fashion to other Nazi authors who vilified the cosmopolitan Jewry. At the level of intellectual history, which is a second narrative line of Winter’s book, the Josephinism is presented as a prelude to the theology of Bernard Bolzano (1781–1848), who is portrayed by Winter as a new Martin Luther. According to Winter, Bolzano transformed conflicting teachings of various reform-minded Josephinist theologians into a coherent system.

After 1945 Winter moved to the German Democratic Republic and entered communist services. He was teaching at the universities in Halle and East Berlin, where he remodeled the earlier interpretation to fit a Marxist-Leninist ideology and dialectic materialism. The Jesuits became enemies of the national movements of oppressed Slav nations, and of scientific progress. This new reorientation was expressed in the so-called Viennese trilogy (1968–1971) in which Winter provided an accomplished interpretation of intellectual history of the Habsburg monarchy from Baroque until 1918.71

Marxist-Leninist Historiography after 1948

The Nazi aggression against Czechoslovakia occasioned a short-lived revival of an independent Jesuit province of Bohemia. The province was renewed in January 1939, but when Germany occupied the rump of Czechia in March 1939, it too became a part of Germany. The era of Nazi occupation brought also a renewed wave of oppression of Catholic institutions, and a fierce Kulturkampf against the Jesuits. After the end of the war, the Jesuits began to restore their settlements but these promising beginnings were interrupted when the communists seized power in February 1948.72 In 1950, they suppressed all the monastic orders, including the Jesuits. The communist takeover started a long era of Marxist-Leninist historiography which renewed the inimical nationalistic attitude towards the Jesuit order. Jesuits became the object of a series of show trials in 1957 and 1958. The hard persecution ended with the general amnesty in 1960, followed by second and third waves in the 1960s. The Jesuits were tried again in 1960, shortly after the general amnesty. Out of 437 Czechoslovak Jesuits, ninety-six were imprisoned. In addition, there were cases of two inmates who joined the Jesuit order while they were in prison. The persecution did not end until 1964 when the last show trial with a religious priest occurred. The prevailing Marxist-Leninist interpretation of Czech history was a fusion of old-style nationalism and Marxist-Leninist historical materialism. In this version of the past, the Jesuits were again depicted as the nemesis of Czech culture.

As there were no new scholarly works on Jesuit history, the negative image of the order was diffused mainly through works of art. In the period 1949–51, Jirásek’s complete works were reedited with the official approval of the minister of culture, Zdeněk Nejedlý (1878–1962), and with an introduction by the president, Klement Gottwald (1896–1953). Jirásek´s historical novels also became the subject of historical movies in the 1950s. In 1969, the writer Jiří Šotola (1924–89) published a widely read historical novel, Tovaryšstvo Ježíšovo (The Society of Jesus),73 which returns to the time of the Thirty Years War. It tells the story of a Jesuit called Had (i.e. Snake) who is sent to Countess Slavata to serve as her confessor. Later on, he discovers that the real goal of his mission is to deprive the countess of her property and get as much as possible for the Jesuit order. It depicts the Jesuits as a kind of military organization in which discipline takes precedence to charity and brotherly love.

In the time of the Prague Spring 1968 there appeared some signs that interpretation of the Jesuit history would undergo a fundamental revision. It was mainly the literary works written in Czech that attracted some scholarly interest. In 1969, Antonín Škarka (1906–72) published a monograph on the poet Frederic Bridel (1619–80) and his spiritual poetry.74 From that point on, Bridel began to be considered the most important representative of Czech baroque. In exile, the theologian František Kopecký (b.1931) wrote a major comprehensive work on the theology of the Josephine age, in which Winter’s negative evaluation of the Jesuits´ role was substantially revised.75 Yet, the research in the nineteenth century was neglected and the long-term developments were mapped only in the survey of Czech church history written by the persecuted church historian Jaroslav Kadlec (1911–2004). It was published for the first time in 1977, and lived through three successive editions.76 However, his book was circulated only among students of theological faculties, and did not reach a broader audience until it was published after the Velvet Revolution by the publishing house Vyšehrad in Prague.77 The Soviet occupation and the politics of normalization, which began in the 1970s, interrupted these revisionist processes.78

Things began to change gradually in the 1980s when articles by several individuals showed that the literary and philosophical endeavors of the Jesuits started to be taken seriously. Even though these people did not form a coordinated school, most of them had some ties to Catholic literary historians of the 1930s, most notably to Josef Vašica. In the field of literary studies, Alexandr Stich (1934–2003), who belonged to “prohibited” scholars, began to publish articles aimed at rehabilitating baroque literature under an assumed name.. His efforts would bear fruits after the Revolution when he was readmitted to the faculty of arts at Charles University in Prague, where he inspired a group of young students who began systematic research in Czech baroque language and literature. Stich particularly appreciated the abovementioned history of Kutná Hora by the Jesuit poet Jan Kořínek. With the help of a team of scholars who examined the extant manuscript and the two different printed editions, Stich managed to produce an excellent edition of this masterpiece, which is still seen as model for other editions. Stanislav Sousedík (b.1931) began his research in Jesuit philosophy also in the 1970s. His studies reconstructed the main lines of development of philosophical thought between Baroque and the Enlightenment, and demonstrated the key role of Jesuits. In particular, he rehabilitated the theology of the Jesuit Rodrigo Arriaga (1592–1667)—a figure of international stamp—and the historical works of Carolus Grobenocqe, as well as the merits of Jesuits for the introduction of natural law to Bohemia. Paradoxically, Jesuit merits for mathematics were also highly appreciated by the official communist historian Josef Haubelt (1932–2013). His studies were summed up in the comprehensive work, České osvícenství (Czech Enlightenment), published in 1986. Yet, the work which brought the greatest revision in the estimation of Jesuit historiography was the iconoclastic biography of Bohuslav Balbín by Jiří Rak (b.1947) and Jan P. Kučera (b.1948) in 1983.79 They proposed a bold thesis that Balbín was a pedophile and not a persecuted patriot. This was a jolt against nationalistic myths because people believed that Balbín was prevented from teaching as punishment for his Czech patriotism, but Rak and Kučera demonstrated that the Jesuit authorities merely sought to prevent a scandal. Strangely enough, the new thesis became quite popular and people accepted it without any critical examination. New aspects of Jesuit historiography were recognized by ethnographers who started to investigate Jesuit missions to South America. In particular, Oldřich Kapšar (b.1952)80 and Václav Ryneš (1909–79) made themselves noticeable in this field.81 The high point of this revision of Jesuit history was the famous Balbín conference in October 1988 in Literary archives in Strahov, Prague, in which even established historians such as Josef Polišenský discussed with younger historians, such as Ivana Čornejová, about new trends in Jesuit studies. Yet, the proceedings of this revisionist conference were only published after the Velvet Revolution when they were already overshadowed by newly written works.82

The greatest importance for the future was the research by Anna Fechtnerová (b.1918) and Ivana Čornejová (b.1950). Fechtnerová had a profound knowledge of manuscript collections in the university archives and in the National Library in Prague; she produced biographical encyclopedias in which she mapped the lives and works of all the Jesuits working at the University in Prague and in the colleges. Her publications would include valuable catalogues of manuscripts and information about their present locations.83 Her collaborator, Ivana Čornejová (who published under the name Raková during her first marriage), became the greatest expert on Jesuits in the era after 1990.

After 1990

The activities of this generation bore fruits in the period after the Velvet Revolution, and overlap with the publication of even younger scholars who started their career in the 1990s and later. The main tendency of the early modern studies in the 1990s was to rehabilitate Czech baroque culture. The important study by Vít Vlnas (b.1962) on the development of the historical image of Saint Johann Nepomuk  also pertains to the Jesuits.84 Another work which shed new light on the attitudes of Catholic clergy towards the “common people” was a study by Jiří Mikulec (b.1962) on the peasant question in baroque Bohemia.85 In 1995, Ivana Čornejová published what would become a standard monograph on the history of Jesuits in Bohemia. This was a work which deliberately aimed at eradicating some of the widespread anti-Jesuit allegations.86 The results of her research in questions of Jesuit schooling were published in the second volume of the History of Charles University, which was published also in an English translation.87

However, the comprehensive work on the cultural history of Bohemian Jesuits of the eighteenth century was written by the American historian Paul Shore (b.1956). He began to map the field with specialized studies already in the 1990s, but the definitive work, The Eagle and the Cross, did not appear until 2002.88 It is an ambitious interpretation of intellectual history of the Jesuits before the suppression, which is rooted in what he calls “baroque mentality.” It is notable for bringing interesting details about Jesuit religious practices, which he discovered from a close reading of their litterae annuae. Exorcism, witchcraft and erotic fantasies of possessed women are also discussed in this original book. Recently, Shore has produced another book on Jesuits in eastern borderlands of the Habsburg Empire which also pertains to Bohemia.89

In the meantime, there appeared a yet younger generation of scholars who would turn from such large-scale surveys to more detailed questions of Jesuit history. Kateřina Bobková-Valentová (b.1971), from the Historical Institute of the Academy of Sciences, has focused on Jesuit schooling from the point of view of their teaching methods.90 Jaroslav Šotola (b.1978), from the University of Olomouc, shed new light on the dissolution of Jesuits in Moravia. His study, which was published only in journal studies, was connected with a new understanding of historical agency.91 Jiří Havelka (b.1979), from the pedagogical faculty of Charles University, has done new research in Jesuit activities as preceptors in aristocratic families, which have been summed up in his biography of Archbishop Johann Friedrich of Waldstein (1642–94).92 He is also preparing a selective edition of the Saint Wenceslas Bible, which was a Czech translation of the bible produced by the Jesuits in the baroque age. Jakub Zouhar (b.1980), from the University of Hradec Králové, has recently broken new ground with a well-documented biography of the Jesuit historian Pubitschka.93 This was a bold step since Pubitschka has been dealt with contempt by generations of historians since Palacký submitted his historical method to a merciless criticism. Zouhar managed to integrate Pubitschka’s methods into the context of humanist conception of history, and contributes to our understanding of the development of the historical discipline.

The research in Jesuit missions abroad has also found successors. Markéta Křížová (b.1974) has published a Spanish book comparing the American missions of Jesuits with those of Moravian Brethren.94 The most important result of new efforts is a new anthology of letters written by Jesuit missionaries from their missions, which was published by Pavel Zavadil (b.1974) in 2011.95

Regrettably, the new era of freedom was not used to bring new works on the persecution of the Jesuit order during the communist regime. The only contribution to this taboo topic is the work by Vojtěch Vlček, which surveys the persecution of religious orders in general.96 This work has been used also in the landmark monograph by Jiří Hanuš and Stanislav Balík on the Catholic Church in Czechoslovakia during the communist regime.97 The Center for the Study of Democracy which these authors established in Brno, continues to coordinate new research in the history of the Catholic Church in the communist era.


^ Back to text1. On these issues see Notker Hammerstein, Jus et historie. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des historischen Denkens an deutschen Universitäten im späten 17. und im 18. Jahrhundert (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1972); Anthony Grafton, What Was History? The Art of History in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2007); Peter Burke, “History, Myth and Fiction: Doubts and Debates,” in The Oxford History of historical Writing, ed. José Rabasa, Masayuki Sato, Edoardo Tortarolo, Daniel Wolf (Oxford: OUP, 2012), 3:261–81; Jakub Zouhar, František Pubička (1722–1807): Barokní historik ve století rozumu (Hradec Králové: Pavel Mervart, 2014), 68.

^ Back to text2. Allan Farrell, ed., The Jesuit Ratio studiorum (1599) (Washington: Conference of Major Superiors of Jesuits, 1970), 80 (Rules for the Teacher of Humanities).

^ Back to text3. Peter Burke, “History, Myth and Fiction: Doubts and Debates,” in The Oxford History of historical Writing, ed. José Rabasa, Masayuki Sato, Edoardo Tortarolo, and Daniel Wolf (Oxford: OUP, 2012), 3:261–81.

^ Back to text4. Now available in a modern edition: Jan Linka ed., Václav Hájek z Libočan, Kronika česká (Prague: Academia, 2013).

^ Back to text5. See Jan Morávek, “Schmidl, Balbín a Ware. Příspěvek k jesuitské historiografii v Čechách,” ČČH 19 (1913): 59; Markus Friedrich, “Circulating and Compiling the Litterae Annuae: Towards a History of the Jesuit System of Communication,” AHSI 78, no. 153 (2008): 3–39.

^ Back to text6. Royal Canonry of Premonstratensians Strahov, MS DC III 20, 21 and 16. For a complete up-to-date survey of preserved diaria see the appendix in Klára Zářecká, “Diarium collegii Reginaehradensis (1662–1666): Historiografický pramen z prostředí Tovaryšstva Ježíšova,” Folia historica Bohemiae 31 (2016): 199–235; Soňa Tomková, “Nejstarší dochované diáře jezuitské koleje u sv. Klimenta na Starém Městě pražském 1560–1610,” Strahovská knihovna 3 (1997): 137–96.

^ Back to text7. National Library Prague (NK ČR), MS XXIII C 105, vols. 1–19.

^ Back to text8. Royal Canonry of Premonstratensians Strahov, MS DU II 11. See (MS DC III 21).

^ Back to text9. Royal Canonry of Premonstratensians Strahov, MS D A IV 27. Published in Zdeňka Tichá, ed., Kroniky válečných dob (Prague: Mladá fronta, 1975), 1–86.

^ Back to text10. National Library in Prague, MS XXIII D 169.

^ Back to text11. The extract has been published as Karel Beránek, ed., Zpráva o bojích se Švédy (Prague: Koniáš Press, 2002).

^ Back to text12. Carolus Grobendoncque, De ortu et progressu spiritus politici (Prague, 1666). For the manuscript sequels Historia de ortu et progressu... see National Library in Prague, MS XD17, MS VII B12, MS VIII B9.

^ Back to text13. Kateřina Bobková-Valentová and Markéta Holubová, “Ad quae ministeria talentum habet? Pro historico domus,” in Heidemarie Bachhofer, Kateřina Bobková-Valentová, and Tomáš Černušák, eds., Ordenshistoriographie in Mitteleuropa: Gestaltung und Wandlung des institutionellen und persönlichen Gedächtnisses in der Frühen Neuzeit (Prague: Academy of Sciences, 2015), 192–218.

^ Back to text14. Bohuslav Balbín, Diva Vartensis seu Origines et Miracula magnae Dei hominumque Matris Mariae, quae a tot retro saeculis Wartae… colitur (Prague: Kilian Wolfgang, 1655).

^ Back to text15. Bohuslav Balbín, Diva montis sancti seu origines et miracula magnae Dei hominumque Matris Mariae… colitur (Prague: Typis Universitatis Carolo-Ferdinandae, 1658).

^ Back to text16. It was published a hundred years later as Bohuslav Balbín, Syntagma illustrissimae familiae comitum de Kolowrat (Prague: Typis Josephi emanueli Diesbach, 1767).

^ Back to text17. Bohuslav Balbín, Epitome historica rerum Bohemicarum (Prague: Typis Universitatis Carolo-Ferdinandae, 1677).

^ Back to text18. Bohuslav Balbín, Miscellanea historica regni Bohemiae, 11 vols. (unfinished) (Prague: Typis Universitatis Carolo-Ferdinandae, 1679–1780).

^ Back to text19. “Historia litteraria within Bohemian Lands: From Balbín to Cerroni,” in Josef Förster, Ondřej Polívka, and Martin Svatoš, eds., Historia litteraria v českých zemích od 17. do počátku 19. (Prague: Století, 2015) 53–77.

^ Back to text20. Balbín, Miscellanea, 9:55–59.

^ Back to text21. It was rediscovered in the manuscript collection in Vienna. See Jan Morávek, Schmidl, Balbín a Ware, “Příspěvek k jezuitské historiografii v Čechách,” ČČH 19 (1913): 57–70, 193–204, 290–300.

^ Back to text22. National Library in Prague, MS I A 1. Historia collegii S. J. Pragensis ad s. Clementem ann. 1555–1610.

^ Back to text23. Antonín Rezek, ed., “Bohuslav Balbín, Relatio extirpanda haeresi per regnum Bohemiae [...] ab anno 1661 usque ad annum 1678,” Věstník Královské české společnosti nauk (1892), 203–57.

^ Back to text24. Václav Červenka z Věžňova, Splednor et gloria domus Waldsteinianae (Prague: Typis Universitatis Carolo-Ferdinandae, 1673).

^ Back to text25. Červenka z Věžňova, Notitia Collegii Convictorum Societ. Jesu Pragae ad s. Bartholomeum (Prague: Typis Universitatis Carolo-Ferdinandae, 1674).

^ Back to text26. National Library in Prague, MS XVI A 15 and MS X–XI B 2, Library of the National Museum, VI B31.

^ Back to text27. Jan Kořínek, Staré paměti kutnohorské (Prague: Jiří Černoch, 1675).

^ Back to text28. Georgius Crugerius, Sacri pulveres mensis...(Prague: Typis Universitatis Carolo-Ferdinandae, 1667–1672), 9 vols. (unfinished). Vol. 10 to 12 published by Michael Krammer (1767).

^ Back to text29. On this office, see Antonín Podlaha, “Předchůdcové Schmidlovi v historiografii české provincie Tovaryšstva Ježíšova,” Sborník historického kroužku Vlast 8 (1899): 39–48.

^ Back to text30. It exists in two handwritten copies: National Library in Prague, MS XXIII C 104; Literary archives – Museum of National Literature, MS DH III 19. One copy is in the ÖNB in Vienna.

^ Back to text31. National Library in Prague, MS XXII c 109. Joannes Dreyhausen, Historia provinciae Bohemiae S.J. quo materiam suam, in feriam, annorum continuum disponi coeptaea. 1742.

^ Back to text32. Joannes Schmidl, Historia Societatis Jesu Provinciae Bohemiae, 4 vols. (Prague: Typis Academicis, 1747–59).

^ Back to text33. See Ivo Cerman, “The Enlightenment Universities,” SVEC, (2011): 56–68, here 57.

^ Back to text34. Jakub Zouhar, “Haiden, Jan František (1716–1803),” in Traugott Bautz, ed., Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon, vol. 36, cols. 509–14 (Nordhausen: Verlag Traugott Bautz, 2015).

^ Back to text35. See Jakub Zouhar, František Pubička (1722–1807): Barokní historik ve století rozumu (Hradec Králové: Pavel Mervart, 2014).

^ Back to text36. Franz Pubitschka, Series chronologica rerum Slavo-Bohemicarum, 2 vols. (Prague: Typis in collegio Societatis Jesu, 1768–69).

^ Back to text37. Franz Pubitschka, Chronologische Geschichte Böhmens unter den Slaven, vol. 1 (Prague: Franz August Höchenberger, 1770).

^ Back to text38. Franz Pubitschka, Unus ne, an duo Ecclesiae Metropolitanae Pragensis Canonici Ioannes de Pomuk nomine (Prague: Hraba, 1790); Pubitschka Ehrenrettung des heiligen Johann von Pomuk (Prague: Johannes Diesbach, 1791).

^ Back to text39. Johann Heinrich Wolf, Leben des Königs Georg von Böhmen (Prague: Normalschulbuchdruckerey, 1785).

^ Back to text40. Johann Heinrich Wolf, Von dem Nutzen der Universalhistorie (Prague: Normalschulbuchdruckerey, 1783).

^ Back to text41. Joannes Diesbach, Bohuslavi Balbini tabularium Bohemo-genealogicum (Prague: Typis Collegii Societatis Jesu, 1770).

^ Back to text42. See František Kutnar, “Život a dílo Ignáce Cornovy: Příspěvek k osvícenské historiografii,” ČČH 36 (1930): 491–519.

^ Back to text43. Ignaz Cornova, Paul Stranskys Staat von Böhmen, 6 vols. (Prague: Johann Gottlieb Calve, 1792–1801).

^ Back to text44. Ignaz Cornova, Geschichte der Jesuiten als Gymnasiallehrer (Prague: Johann Gottlieb Calve, 1804).

^ Back to text45. See Cerman, Šlechtická kultura 18. století (Prague: Nakldatelství Lidové Noviny, 2011), 307.

^ Back to text46. Nikolaus Adaukt Voigt, Effigies virorum eruditorum, Pars I (Prague: Wolfgang Gerle, 1773); Voigt, Effigies virorum eruditorum, Pars II (Prague: Wolfgang Gerle, 1775); Franz Martin Pelzel, Abbildungen böhmischer und mährischer Gelehrten, 4 vols. (Prague, Wolfgang Gerle, 1773–1782).

^ Back to text47. Franz Martin Pelzel, Böhmische, Mährische und schlesische Gelehrte und Schriftsteller aus dem Orden der Jesuiten (Prague: Selbstverlag, 1786).

^ Back to text48. See Josef Táborský, Reformní katolík Josef Dobrovský (Brno: L. Marek, 2007), 120.

^ Back to text49. See Jan Pavlík, Vzpomínky na zemřelé jezuity, narozené v Čechách, na Moravě a v moravském Slezsku od roku 1814 (Olomouc: Refugium, 2011).

^ Back to text50. Emanuel Arnold, Protijezuitský letákin Karel Kosík, eds., Čeští radikálí demokraté (Prague: SNPL, 1953), 51–55.

^ Back to text51. Karl Vocelka, Verfassung oder Konkordat? Der publizistische und politische Kampf der österreichischen Liberalen um die Religionsgesetze des Jahres 1868 (Wien: Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1978).

^ Back to text52. Stanislav Bílek, Lukáš Fasora, Český antiklerikalismus (Prague: Argo, 2015).

^ Back to text53. Stanislav Budín, Jan Neruda a jeho doba (Prague: SNKL, 1960), 241.

^ Back to text54. Tomáš V. Bílek, Tovaryšstvo Ježíšovo a působení jeho v zemích království Českého (Prague: C. k. akademické gymnasium, 1873).

^ Back to text55. Tomáš V. Bílek, Dějiny řádu tovaryšstva Ježíšova a působení jeho vůbec a v Čechách (Prague: F. Bačkovský, 1897).

^ Back to text56. Ernest Denis, Konec samostatnosti české, trans. Jindřich Vančura (Prague: Bursík & Kohout, 1893); Denis, Čechy po Bílé hoře, 2 vols., trans. Jindřich Vančura (Prague: Bursík & Kohout, 1904).

^ Back to text57. Alois Jirásek, Temno (Prague: Jan Otto, 1915).

^ Back to text58. Karel Alois Vinařický and Antonín Skočdopole, Jesuiti: Odpověď Národním Listům (Prague: self-published, 1866); Vinařický and Skočdopole, Druhá a poslední odpověď Národním Listům k otázce o jezuitech (Prague: self-published, 1867).

^ Back to text59. Antonín Podlaha, “Předchůdcové Schmidlovi v historiografii české provincie Tovaryšstva Ježíšova,” Sborník historického kroužku Vlast 8 (1899): 39–48.

^ Back to text60. Josef Svoboda, Co jsou jesuité? (Prague: Selbstverlag, 1873).

^ Back to text61. Josef Svoboda, Katolická reformace a mariánská družina v Království českém 1551–1655, 2 vols. (Brno: Benedictine Monastery Rajhrad, 1888).

^ Back to text62. Josef Svoboda, Reformace katolická v Království českém po bitvě bělohorské (Prague: V. Kotrba, 1893).

^ Back to text63. Antonín Rejzek, Bohuslav Balbín., Jeho život a práce (Prague: Vlast, 1908).

^ Back to text64. Alois Kroess, Die Geschichte der böhmischen Provinz der Gesellschaft Jesu (Vienna: Opitz, 1910).

^ Back to text65. Alois Kroess, Die Geschichte der böhmischen Provinz der Gesellschaft Jesu, II/1 1619–35 (Wien: Mayer und Co., 1927); Kroess, Die Geschichte der böhmischen Provinz der Gesellschaft Jesu, II/2 1637–57 (Vienna: Mayer und Co., 1938); Kroess, Die Geschichte der böhmischen Provinz der Gesellschaft Jesu, vol. 3: 1657–1773 (Olomouc: Refugium Velehrad, 2012).

^ Back to text66. Josef Pekař, Bílá hora. Její příčiny a následky (Prague: Vesmír, 1921); Pekař, “O periodizaci českých dějin,” ČČH 38 (1932), 1–11.

^ Back to text67. Zdeněk Kalista, ed., České baroko: Studie, texty, poznámky (Prague, ELK, 1941).

^ Back to text68. On Winter see Franz L. Fillafer and Thomas Wallnig, eds., Josephinismus zwischen den Regimen: Eduard Winter, Fritz Valjavec und die zentraleuropäischen Historiographien im 20. Jahrhundert (Vienna: Böhlau, 2016).

^ Back to text69. This was a more complicated process taking place in 1940 and 1941, Winter expressed his “weltanschauliche” estrangement in a letter of resignation of his position as a teacher of ecclesiastical history at the faculty of theology in Prague. See Jiří Němec, “Eduard Winter v německém dějepisectví v protektorátu” (PhD diss., University of Brno, 2007), 117.

^ Back to text70. Eduard Winter, Der Josephinismus. und seine Geschichte (Brno: Rudolf M. Rohrer, 1943); Winter, Josephinismus a jeho dějiny (Prague: Jelínek, 1945). See Ivo Cerman, “Der Josephinismus und die ‘Geistesgeschichte’ in Tschechien,” in Fillafer and Wallnig, eds., Josephinismus, 213–40.

^ Back to text71. Eduard Winter, Barock, Absolutismus und Aufklärung in der Donaumonarchie (Vienna: Europa Verlag, 1971); Winter, Barock, Romantismus, Restauration und Frühliberalismus im österreichischen Vormärz (Vienna: Europa Verlag, 1968); Winter, Barock, Revolution, Neuabsolutismus und Liberalismus in der Donaumonarchie (Vienna: Europa Verlag, 1969).

^ Back to text72. See Stanislav Balík and Jiří Hanuš, Katolická církev v Československu 1945–1989 (Brno: CDK, 2007).

^ Back to text73. Jiří Šotola, Tovaryšstvo Ježíšovo (Prague: Mladá fronta, 1969).

^ Back to text74. Antonín Škarka, Fridrich Bridel nový a neznámý (Prague: Carolinum, 1969).

^ Back to text75. František Kopecký, Moraltheologie im aufgeklärten theresianisch-josephinischen Zeitalter: Sittliche Bildung und Ausgestaltung der Morallehre zum selbständigen systematischen Lehrfach (St. Ottilien: EOS, 1991).

^ Back to text76. Jaroslav Kadlec, Přehled československých církevních dějin, 2 vols. (Prague: Ústřední církevní nakladatelství, 1977).

^ Back to text77. Jaroslav Kadlec, Přehled českých církevních dějin, 2 vols. (Prague: Vyšehrad, 1991).

^ Back to text78. See Tomáš Bubík, “The Czech Journey to the Academic Study of Religions,” in Studying Religions with the Iron Curtain Closed and Opened, ed. Tomáš Bubík and Henryk Hoffmann (Leiden: Brill, 2015), 1–55.

^ Back to text79. Jiří Rak and Jan Pavel Kučera, Bohuslav Balbín a jeho místo v české kultuře (Prague: Vyšehrad, 1983).

^ Back to text80. See Oldřich Kašpar, Los jesuitas checos en la Nueva España 1678–1767 (Mexico City: Universidad Iberoamericana, 1991).

^ Back to text81. Václav Ryneš, “Los Jesuitas checos trabajando en la misiones de América latina después 1620,” Ibero-America Pragensia 5 (1971): 193–202.

^ Back to text82. Zuzana Pokorná, Martin Svatoš, eds., Bohuslav Balbín a kultura jeho doby v Čechách (Prague: Literary archives, 1992).

^ Back to text83. Mainly Anna Fechtnerová and Ivana Čornejová, Životopisný slovník pražské univerzity. Filozofická a teologická fakulta 1654–1773 (Prague: Charles University, 1986).

^ Back to text84. Vít Vlnas, Jan Nepomucký. Česká legenda (Prague: Mladá fronta, 1993).

^ Back to text85. Jiří Mikulec, Poddanská otázka v barokních Čechách (Prague: Academy of Sciences, 1993).

^ Back to text86. Ivana Čornejová, Tovaryšstvo Ježíšovo. Jezuité v Čechách (Prague: Mladá fronta, 1995).

^ Back to text87. Ivana Čornejová, ed., Dějiny univerzity Karlovy, vol. 2 (1622–1802) (Prague: Karolinum, 1996).

^ Back to text88. Paul Shore, The Eagle and the Cross: Jesuits in Late Baroque Prague (St. Louis, MO: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 2002).

^ Back to text89. Paul Shore, Narratives of Adversity: Jesuits on the Eastern Peripheries of the Habsburg Realms (Budapest: CEU Press, 2012).

^ Back to text90. Kateřina Bobková-Valentová, Každodenní život učitele a žáka jezuitského gymnázia (Prague: Karolinum, 2006).

^ Back to text91. Jaroslav Šotola, “Zrušení jezuitského řádu v českých zemích. Kolektivní biografie bývalé elity 1773–1800” (PhD diss., University of Olomouc, 2005); Šotola, “Výzkum elit – hranice historické antropologie? Možnosti nového pohledu na jezuitský řád,” in Martin Nodl and Daniela Tinková, eds., Antropologické přístupy v historickém bádání (Praha: Argo, 2007), 237–52.

^ Back to text92. Jiří M. Havelka, Jan Fridrich z Valdštejna (Prague: Vyšehrad, 2016).

^ Back to text93. Jakub Zouhar, František Pubička (1722–1807). Barokní historik ve století rozumu (Hradec Králové: Pavel Mervart, 2014).

^ Back to text94. Markéta Křížová, Ciudad ideal en el desierto. Proyectos misionales de la Compañía de Jesús y la Iglesia Morava en la América colonial (Prague: Karolinum, 2004).

^ Back to text95. Pavel Zavadil, Čeští jezuité objevují Nový svět(1657–1741) (Prague: Argo, 2015).

^ Back to text96. Vojtěch Vlček, Perzekuce mužských řádů a kongregací komunistickým režimem 1948–1964 (Olomouc: MCM, 2004).

^ Back to text97. Stanislav Balík and Jiří Hanuš, Katolická církev v Československu 1945–1989 (Brno: CDK, 2007).

Cite this page
Ivo Cerman, “Jesuit Historiography in Bohemia”, in: Jesuit Historiography Online. Consulted online on 17 August 2017 <>
First published online: 2016

▲   Back to top   ▲